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Luck, Choice and Responsibility. An experimental study of fairness views

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Author Info

  • Möllerström, Johanna

    ()
    (Harvard University)

  • Reme, Bjørn-Atle

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Sørensen, Erik Ø.

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

Abstract

We conduct a laboratory experiment where third-party spectators can redistribute resources between two agents, thereby offsetting the consequences of controllable and uncontrollable luck. Some spectators go to the limits and equalize all or no inequalities, but many follow an interior allocation rule previously unaccounted for by the fairness views in the literature. These interior allocators regard an agent’s choice as more important than the cause of her low income and do not always compensate bad uncontrollable luck. Instead, they condition such compensation on the agent’s decision regarding controllable luck exposure, even though the two types of luck are independent.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics in its series Discussion Paper Series in Economics with number 6/2014.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 07 Mar 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhheco:2014_006

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Postal: NHH, Department of Economics, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway
Phone: +47 55 959 277
Fax: 5595 9100
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Web page: http://www.nhh.no/sam/
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Keywords: Fairness; responsibility; option luck; brute luck; experimen.;

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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Aguiar, Fernando & Becker, Alice & Miller, Luis, 2013. "Whose Impartiality? An Experimental Study Of Veiled Stakeholders, Involved Spectators And Detached Observers," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(02), pages 155-174, July.
  3. Kurt Devooght & Erik Schokkaert, 1999. "Responsibility-Sensitive Fair Compensation in Different Cultures," STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers 46, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  4. Konow, James, 2006. "Is Fairness in the Eye of the Beholder? An Impartial Spectator Analysis of Justice," MPRA Paper 2730, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869, August.
  6. J. Michelle Brock & Andreas Lange & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2013. "Dictating the Risk: Experimental Evidence on Giving in Risky Environments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 415-37, February.
  7. Konow, James, 1996. "A positive theory of economic fairness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 13-35, October.
  8. Norman Frohlich & Joe Oppenheimer & Anja Kurki, 2004. "Modeling Other-Regarding Preferences and an Experimental Test," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 119(1_2), pages 91-117, 04.
  9. Cappelen, Alexander W. & Konow, James & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2010. "Just Luck: An Experimental Study of Risk Taking and Fairness," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 4/2010, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics.
  10. Alice Becker, 2013. "Accountability and the fairness bias: the effects of effort vs. luck," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 685-699, September.
  11. James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
  12. Krawczyk, Michal, 2010. "A glimpse through the veil of ignorance: Equality of opportunity and support for redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 131-141, February.
  13. Fernando Aguiar & Alice Becker & Luis Miller, 2010. "Whose impartiality? An experimental study of veiled stakeholders, impartial spectators and ideal observers," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-040, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  14. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri D. Hole & Erik Ø. Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2005. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 1611, CESifo Group Munich.
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  1. Egalitarianism in the lab
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-05-01 12:51:57

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